In conversations about gun control, champions of gun control often mention Australia as a shinning example of the road America should follow. What is overlooked, however, is that Australia’s buyback program was an extensive strategy of gun confiscation. In the Federalist, Varad Mehta brings up the crucial point of how the Australian government was able to confiscate guns.
Australia does not have a bill of rights, and that, ultimately, is the reason it was able to confiscate guns. Australians have no constitutional right to bear arms, so seizing their weapons did not violate their constitutional rights. Gun confiscation in the United States would require violating not only the Second Amendment, but the fourth and fifth as well, and possibly even the first. Progressives generally have no compunction about breaching the Second Amendment, but one wonders how many others they would be eager to violate in their quest to nullify the second. Civil war and a tattered Constitution: such are the consequences of invoking “Australia.” It is not a model; it is a mirage.
There is an essential mendacity, whether intentional or not, to all suggestions that Australia’s system of gun control is suitable for the United States. Conjuring Australia isn’t innocent. But this trick does serve one valuable purpose: when gun controllers perform it they reveal what they truly desire. An Australian-style gun-control regime, it must be abundantly clear by now, would not only be impractical in the United States, it would be immoral. We would all be better served if American gun-control advocates acknowledged this reality and left their fantasy Down Under where it belongs.
Charles Cooke in National Review shredded the rhetorical conceit of bellowing “Australia!” gun control, notes Mr. Mehta.
You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun-laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law. When the Left says that we should respond to shootings as Australia did, they don’t mean that we should institute background checks on private sales; they mean that we should ban and confiscate guns. No amount of wooly words can change this. Again, one doesn’t bring up countries that have confiscated firearms as a shining example unless one wishes to push the conversation toward confiscation.
Read more from Mr. Mehta here.